New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat Matchup Preview (1/26/22)
The red-hot Miami Heat will look to build on their Eastern-Conference-leading 30-17 record against the inconsistent New York Knicks, who are somehow still hanging around as a potential playoff team. Miami has registered a 7-2 record over their past nine games despite missing Kyle Lowry for the past four and Bam Adebayo for the first five. The Heat will once again be without Lowry, who will miss this game for personal reasons. Once Lowry is back, Miami could turn into one of the scariest teams in the league, much like how the public viewed it at the beginning of the season. Despite some terrific play from young guard R.J. Barrett, the Knicks are sliding, winning merely one of their past five games. Barrett has averaged close to 23 points, seven rebounds, and four assists in his last 13 games, and unfortunately, New York has little to show for it. Hopefully, it can go down to Miami and grab a much-needed road win, but check out below for more betting information on this Eastern Conference matchup!
New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat Betting Odds
The New York Knicks are 6.5-point road dogs to the surging, first-place Miami Heat. Despite not having Kyle Lowry, there is plenty of talent still on the Heat’s roster, including Gabe Vincent, Max Strus, Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo, and Jimmy Butler. Additionally, their record at home proves they don’t mess around in FTX Arena. I like the Heat ATS in this spot with the Knicks struggling so much.
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Time: 7:30 PM ET
Arena: FTX Arena – Miami, FL
Channel: NBA League Pass
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New York Knicks Starting Lineup
New York Knicks Analysis
The world expected the New York Knicks to accumulate a better record than 23-25 through their first 48 games of the 2021-22 NBA season, but it clearly did not happen. After last year’s regular-season success, many thought that the Knicks had done a terrific job rebranding their culture to be more defensive-centric. With Tom Thibodeau at the helm, it seemed that New York was prepared for its next great era. There was one glaring issue: offense. The Knicks rank 27th in points per game, 24th in offensive efficiency, and 25th in eFG% (effective field goal percentage), despite bringing in several free agents who were supposed to help on that end. If there is anything that the Knicks can be pleased about, it’s their three-point percentage, which has ranked much better this season. They are still several steps away from being a title contender, though.
Miami Heat Starting Lineup
Miami Heat Analysis
The Heat are one of those teams that seemingly have not been able to keep everyone healthy at the same time. Their starting lineup of Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler, P.J. Tucker, Duncan Robinson, and Bam Adebayo have played together in fewer than half of the games so far, yet the Heat are still in first place in the Eastern Conference. Essentially, this team cannot get everyone healthy at the same time. Still, it is unbelievable that they have found themselves in first place after nearly 50 games of the 2021-22 NBA season. There are other terrific teams in the Eastern Conference, such as the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls, Philadelphia 76ers, and Cleveland Cavaliers. You would think that a team with so many players constantly missing would struggle. Obviously, that has not been the case. Even more intriguing is the prospect that Victor Oladipo has not returned yet. Imagine when the Heat are 100% healthy and have Oladipo back as well, even if just in a limited role. We need to view the Heat as legitimate title contenders at this point or could regret it by the time the season has come to an end.
New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat Daily Fantasy Picks
A player I would like to highlight for this matchup is Max Strus, one of the most underrated perimeter scorers in the league. Strus started his collegiate career at D-II Lewis University. After two years there, Strus transferred to Depaul University, where he averaged 18.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. He was named to the second-team All-Big East in his senior year. Then, Strus spent one year bouncing back and forth between the Chicago Bulls and their G-League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls. Now, in his third year in the NBA, Strus is breaking out as a terrific complementary and secondary scorer. In his past 14 games, Strus has averaged 16.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game, often filling in for injured Heat players. Now, he has worked his way into the rotation and built confidence within the Heat organization. Even when everyone, including Victor Oladipo, returns, I have a hard time believing they will be able to keep Strus on the bench. In the meantime, Strus is a terrific player for DFS purposes. His salary is still on the lower end for perimeter players with high scoring upside, so consider him for the foreseeable future.
Halfway through his third NBA season, R.J. Barrett has finally played at a satisfactory level to everyone with incredibly high expectations. Barrett’s season averages are solid, putting up 17.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game on 42% from the field and 35% from behind the arc. Barrett has put the New York Knicks on his back in the past 13 games, mainly. He has posted roughly 23 points, seven rebounds, and four assists with some explosive games during that span. Barrett may not be an All-Star yet; however, he has played near All-Star level. If he continues to improve as a shooter and playmaker, then he could help this Knicks team become relevant again in the future. For now, utilize him in your lineup in DFS.